Darryll Fish Is Ready to Defend WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Title on Home Court

Jan 17, 2020

Darryll Fish

By Kevin Taylor

After skipping out on 2019, the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open is back at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood here in 2020. In 2018, local regular Darryll Fish (pictured) captured his first WPT title in this event, earning $511,604. He defeated a final table that included Andy Frankenberger (3rd), Ness Reilly (4th), and John Dolan (9th). We caught up with Fish on the first break of the day to get his thoughts on defending this crown.

“Once you’ve had an experience of going deep in a tournament or winning a tournament, it gives you a certain level of comfort with that specific event, and I have a level of comfort with this venue having played here for so long. It’s one thing to visualize it and another thing to actually experience it,” said Fish.

After two runner-up finishes, and another third-place showing in major WPT Events, Fish was starting to get the label of “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” However, he was finally able to remove his name from that list in 2018, and the fact that it happened in his home state of Florida seemed poetic, as Fish told us here. 

“It was super cool. I don’t do this for the titles and what not, but it feels good to get one after working so hard for so long, and playing so many WPTs. To do it here felt kind of poetic and almost expected in a way. It felt like it was written in the stars. It felt great to have the support of the staff, and my family and friends. It was an amazing experience.”

Just two weeks ago, the WPT announced that Darren Elias was the WPT Player of the Decade for the 2010s, having amassed nearly $4,000,000 in Main Event earnings throughout the world. Fish came in at ninth on that list, having earned $1,772,063 over 17 cashes, and six final tables. Fish said he takes great pride in being on a list that includes Elias, as well as Anthony Zinno, Mohsin Charania, and fellow Floridians Noah Schwartz and Sam Panzica. 

“There’s some good company there. I have a lot of respect for most of those guys. Being on that list gives me a sense of achievement and accomplishment. While it’s partially arbitrary since tournaments have a lot of variance, and not everything is perfect, but it still felt really nice to notice that. It gave me a boost of confidence and validation that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years has paid off in a number of ways,” said Fish.

Fish has been coming to the Seminole Hard Rock for years, and he has seen first-hand how much this property has grown. This growth hit its peak late last year, when they unveiled their $1.5 billion expansion, a 450-foot tall building in the shape of a guitar. Fish was quite impressed with the new building, and is happy to see his home casino thriving.

“It’s pretty cool what they’ve done. It’s an impressive property. I’m not a huge casino guy in general so I have a different perspective on it, but it’s really cool to see the evolution of the property and to know that they are trying to improve things is good. The new poker room is amazing, it’s one of the most beautiful rooms in the country, so to have that in my backyard is pretty cool and to view the whole evolutionary process it’s been really fun to witness,” said Fish.

Stay tuned to our live updates page to find out if Fish can win his second WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event in a row!

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